On August 31st, 2010, President Barack Obama announced the end of the combat mission in Iraq. As Americans, we have to give thanks to all the servicemen and women who have diligently fought to end a dictatorship and secure a road to peace. It is without question that their bravery and self sacrifice should be commended. Along with the soldiers who have fought so gallantly, their families should also be taken into consideration. These mothers, fathers, sisters, brothers, wives and children have spent sleepless nights waiting for the safe return of their loved ones. Call them all heroes, for they are the strength behind freedom and our quest for peace in the world.
Giving salute and thanks for their brave acts is not enough. We must take action, as a nation, and walk the extra mile. The trauma war can cause is not easily understood. Arriving home for these soldiers is a welcome event but the transition is not an easy one. When time permits, check out the movie Brothers, starring Natalie Portman, Toby Maguire and Jake Gylllenhaal. This dramatization into the psychological aftermath of war and human nature, will give rise to compassion.
Perhaps you have noticed a yellow postcard in your mail from the Military Order of the Purple Heart. This organization is dedicated to helping disabled veterans and their families by picking up donations from your curbside. The MOPD will take small household items, clothing, shoes, and small electronics. The gift of your donation can do wonders to help. Another group that you can get involved with or make a donation to is the Wounded Warriors Project.
Connie Frye, Landisburg, Pa., is the mother of two sons who served in Iraq for the USMC. Her oldest son, Corporal Adam Frye, served two tours and returned home in May of 2005. Her youngest son, Lance Corporal Jason Frye,19, was killed in action during his first tour of duty in October of 2005. Connie describes Jason as a young man with an enormous spirit. He spent his short life helping others. He was known for giving his clothes to help those in need regularly and random acts of kindness. He would refer to his priorities in life and his only needs as faith, family and friends. When referring to Jason, Connie quotes the Christian Bible:
Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. James 1:17
When asked how she coped with her loss, Connie reiterates Jason’s words and adds one of her own. “faith, family, friends and Jason.” A mother’s worst fear is the loss of a child. The personal feelings of her loss she relays as, “A piercing grief you cannot describe, How will I live without him? Will he be forgotten?” Her life mission now stems from those words. She is a pillar of strength in the face of adversity.
Jason has left us with a legacy. The Frye family has established The Jason Frye Memorial Center in Landisburg, Pa., with his death benefit. The center will house a clothing bank for anyone in need, a gymnasium and banquet room for the gathering of groups. Jason’s resting place overlooks the future site. A benefit fundraiser is held annually on the first Saturday after Labor Day. You can help to build this center with a donation to:
The Jason Frye Memorial Center, 681 Sheaffers Valley Road, Landisburg, Pa. 17040
The United States Military Processing Station (MEPS) in Mechanicsburg, Pa., is where all military branches process and swear in before going on to basic training. The ceremony room now bears the name of Jason Frye. Every soldier going into that room is reminded of Jason and the sacrifice he made for his country.
For Jason and all of his fallen comrades, you are not forgotten! You live on in the hearts of your fellow countrymen. For those who have served and have returned home, you also, are honored and respected for your bravery. Your peace is our cause. God bless our troops.
You can offer your own salute to our troops by visiting www.whitehouse.gov/salute